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New Jersey Democrat Rep. Donald Payne Jr. Passed Away at the Age of 65

Rep. Donald Payne Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, dies at 65

Rep. Donald Payne Jr., a prominent New Jersey Democrat with nearly 12 years of service in Congress, passed away at the age of 65. Governor Phil Murphy hailed Payne as a steadfast advocate for the people of New Jersey, noting his background as a former union worker and toll collector which gave him a deep understanding of the struggles faced by working families. Payne was known for his relentless efforts to address their needs on a daily basis, reflecting a commitment that earned him widespread respect.

Last week, Payne’s office announced his hospitalization following a cardiac episode related to complications from diabetes. Initially expected to make a full recovery, his sudden death has stunned many, triggering an outpouring of condolences from fellow politicians such as Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Donald Payne Jr.

Donald Payne Jr. (Credits: NBC News)

Payne’s passing marks the end of a tenure marked by dedicated service to his constituents and a legacy of advocacy, particularly within the Congressional Black Caucus, a tradition inherited from his father, Rep. Donald M. Payne, the first Black member of Congress from New Jersey.

Donald Payne Jr. entered Congress in 2012, succeeding his late father in representing New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, which includes Newark. In addition to his membership in the Congressional Black Caucus, he served on influential committees such as the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Payne’s tenure was characterized by a commitment to addressing pressing issues facing his district and the nation at large, making him a respected figure both within Congress and among his constituents.

With Payne’s untimely passing, Governor Murphy is expected to call for a special election to fill the vacant seat. The loss of Payne leaves a significant void in New Jersey’s political landscape, as his absence will be felt not only in the halls of Congress but also in the communities he served with dedication and passion. As tributes continue to pour in, his legacy as a tireless advocate for the people he represented stands as a testament to his enduring impact on the state and its residents.

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